Wine Review: 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel, Old Zin Vines – Lodi, CA

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Us poor and unfortunate people who live in Maryland are not able to buy wine at grocery stores. Instead, packaged alcoholic beverages can only be sold at state regulated liquor stores. That being said, you could literally spit in any direction and hit a state regulated liquor store so scarcity is not the problem.

The problem is that, with a few exceptions, they all have the same stuff. Every store store carries the usual suspects when it comes to wine. They all have Cupcake and Black Box, Menage A’ Trois, Dark Horse, and Beringer. You know, the brands I usually review.

Stores like Trader Joe’s are renowned for their excellent, yet inexpensive, wine selection but Trader Joe’s is not allowed to sell packaged liquor in the state of Maryland. On this weekend, Xavier and I decided to take a field trip to Trader Joe’s in Virginia to see what all the wine-fuss was about.

We bought two bottles. One was a Sauvignon Blanc with an alluring description but that turned out to be pretty bad. (or maybe I just don’t like Sauvignon Blanc). The other was this bottle of Old Vine Zinfandel from Old Zin Vines. At $10.99 it was on the more expensive end of the Trader Joe’s price spectrum but absolutely worth every penny and the two hour round trip. For the time invested, I wish we had bought more than one bottle.

Visitors to the website OldZinVines.com will see that it is a brand owned and operated by Oak Ridge Winery.  Incidentally, Oak Ridge Winery is also the creator of one of my other favorite wines, Old Soul Pinot Noir.

Old Zin Vines Zinfandel is, without a doubt, one of the best wines I have tried. It is fer-damn delicious and everything on the label is true, which is unusual to say the least.

This jammy elixir of raspberry, milk chocolate and mocha is silky smooth and disappears very quickly.  Like being overwhelmed by the cuteness of a kitten, it is not even fair how good this wine is.

Self-control = 0

Wine = 1

If you too have driven over an hour to get to Trader Joe’s, don’t sell yourself short by coming home with only one bottle of Old Zin Vines Zinfandel.


Wine Review: 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel, Predator

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On yet another trip to the Frederick Wine Ho(use) to get something else (I think it was 19 Crimes), Xavier asked the sales woman if they carried Old Vine Zin from Oakridge Winery. We thought they might have it since they also carried Old Soul. They did not have, and had not even heard of, the Old Vine Zin but she showed us another Lodi grown Old Vine Zinfandel called Predator.

“It’s smoky and tastes like bacon“, she exclaimed with a level of enthusiasm that meant she wasn’t just making it up. ”

“You had me at ladybug”, I replied.

Clearly, I had to try the wine that tastes like bacon so it became the reason for our next trip to the Frederick Wine Ho.

Predator is a sub-brand of Rutherford Wine Company and they are well known for their sustainability practices that include using natural predators such as lady bugs, instead of harmful pesticides, to control grape eating insects in their vineyards.

 

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While privately hoping that the secret ingredient in this bacon brew was not ladybugs, I could hardly wait to get it home and give it a taste.

To say that Predator Old Vine Zinfandel is smoky and tastes like a bacon is an almost comical understatement. The flavors are quite pronounced and, because of that, it’s a love it or hate it concoction.

Xavier did not like it, at all, but I wasn’t dissuaded.

I really liked it!

Just imagine getting a package of super premium bacon from Keller’s Farm Stores and then loading it up on a George Foreman grill. The scent fills the house and even attracts the neighbors. Don’t overcook the bacon, it doesn’t need to be crisp like jerky, just crispy enough that it has a bit of crunch but retains that juicy/fatty quality that sends the taste buds straight into orgasmic euphoria.

Yep, then pour it in a bottle with a ladybug label and call it Zinfandel.

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